Google has been holding I/O, its annual developer conference, in early May for years now. As such, there’s often a lot of notable Google-focused anniversaries to recognize this time of year, and today is no exception.
Eight years ago (May 11th, 2011), Google announced the first two commercially-available Chromebooks from Acer and Samsung. At the time, these were just a pair of announcements in the middle of two days of news, but it was a big milestone for Google’s fledgling Chrome OS.
And while it took years for Chromebooks to shake a reputation of being devices that were both cheaply-made and not very capable, we can look back now at these laptops as the start of something significant for Google.
The 11.6-inch Acer Chromebook and 12.1-inch Samsung Series 5 Chromebook were cut from similar cloth. Both used low-power Intel Atom processors, used small solid-state drives and claimed impressive battery life, at least for the time: 6.5 hours for the Acer and over 8 hours for the Samsung.
With relatively small displays, both computers seemed easily comparable to the many small, low-cost Windows netbooks that were commonplace in the early 2010s. Though with prices starting at $350 and up, these Chromebooks actually cost a bit more than some netbooks running Windows 7 at the time.